Two months after the Champlain Towers tragedy, Boca Raton became the first city in Florida (outside of Dade and Broward Counties) to implement a building re-certification process. This marks the first city in Palm Beach County to adopt such rules. With this said, it is largely expected that other cities throughout Florida will also implement similar protocols. It should be noted that numerous cities and towns throughout The Sunshine State are currently considering similar moves.
The details of the re-certification process
A few highlights of this new ordinance are as follows:
- Buildings that reach the 30-year mark will be required to submit an inspection report every 10 years.
- The law will impact buildings that meet any of these criteria: stand more than 3 stories high; or measure more than 5,000 square feet; or hold more than 500 people.
- This ordinance does not include single-family homes or duplexes.
- Currently, the City of Boca Raton has identified 242 buildings that will immediately be subject to re-certification under the new ordinance.
- The city will follow a schedule for four years to eliminate the backlog in four areas starting east and west of Interstate 95.
- Inspection notices will be sent to impacted buildings via certified mail at least one year before the deadline.
- Under the new ordinance, building owners must submit a structural report and an electrical report, and identify any deficiencies that need to be solved.
- If warranted, the City of Boca Raton will give building owners 30 days to put forward a repair plan.
- In accordance with the Public Records Act, Boca Raton plans to create a database that will make inspection reports and other information related to the building re-certification program available to the public.
It will likely be a while until we learn the details of the causes of the collapse at Champlain Towers in Surfside, FL. With this said, many coastal cities and towns throughout Florida have decided to review their own protocols as opposed to wait for a state level directive. Unit owners in these buildings should expect these inspections to result in a one-time assessment to cover the cost of the inspections and potential repairs. With this said, many buildings may decide to strengthen their reserves in order to account for these likely expenses. Either way, it is in the best interest of public safety that these measures are taken. We certainly never want to see another tragedy like we did in Surfside, FL a few months ago.
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